Local food pantries in short supply

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As summer comes to a close, and fall settles in, our lives become more scheduled with back-to-school В and holiday planning. No matter the season, holiday, or event, there are still citizens in Carbon , Emery, and Grand County going hungry. The Carbon County Food Bank is the main facility for the three-county area providing to neighboring food pantries and these end-of-the -summer months are tough. Collette Freestone, community В services program manager, cannot guarantee the pantry will have enough to support families in need.

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With generosity on our minds during the holidays local food banks are usually brimming with enough food to last them through November, December, January and most of February, but it seems the urgency for donations slips away during the summer months. In November and December В of 2011 the Carbon Food Bank accepted 43,655 lbs of community donations; in June 2011 the food bank accepted 1,758 lbs. Considering on average the food bank sends out 43,000lbs to surrounding communities that provide for 765 families each month, the deficit is staggering.

Luckily, the food bank does receive donations from the Utah Food Bank twice a month, but even that source is dwindling. With a regular donation of 15,000 lbs now totaling 7,011 lbs, the problem is statewide, pantries are running low and families may go hungry.

Your local food bank is asking for the community to think of them now more than ever.

“We appreciate all the support we receive from residents, but we need them to think of us all year long. Unfortunately in another month, with the current status of our food pantry we may be cutting what we provide to families in half,” said Freestone.

When you donate В food to the pantry, you help the food bank in more ways than one. The State will reimburse $ .12 for every pound of food brought in from the community. For every 1,000 lbs of food donated, the food bank receives $120 to purchase non-food items such as, toilet paper, toothpaste, deodorant, and soap.

Donation bins are currently set up at Fresh Market, Smiths, Wal-Mart, and Castle Valley Laundromat, and will be until the end of September. Community members are encouraged to get involved and host a food drive or volunteer at the Food Bank. Call them for more information at (435) 637-9232, and remember hunger in Utah is a very real problem, but it doesn’t have to be, donate what you can today.

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